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The proposed project is in the downtown of Atlanta, the origin point for the city, and the founding grid of city blocks, streets, and avenues that would become the metropolis of today. The area was the historical heart of commercial district of the city from the late 1800s through the 1940s. Currently, the abandoned HL Green Building, was a department store, and office building, comprising 4 floors and a mezzanine and approximately 40,000sqsf. It was constructed in 1950, replacing a previous building on the same lot, The building lies at the heart of a rapidly changing urban area and represents a distinct opportunity for the understanding of existing context and the potential for imaginative re-use and proposition. The project deals with the revitalization of this building with a new fabric of urban programs creating a sense of community but keeping in check its carbon emission in the process. The concept is to create an open and free-flowing circulation within its existing structural grid by introducing an open courtyard (The-Void). In addition to forming a space for social interaction, the open courtyard space intertwines various programs creating a seamless visual and physical connections between the exterior and interior spaces. This organic space acts as the breathing node connecting various programs and runs across levels naturally ventilating throughout the building.
The programs are strategically placed in positions where it can function as an individual element even at times when other sections are closed, making each of them independent from one another. The proposed project houses a large performance hall, a medium-size food court, a small place for contemplation, and a micro-housing. The primary circulation includes two massive ramps connecting the basement and mezzanine, which is both utilitarian and functional addressing the equity and ADA standards. A series of external stairs are placed around the open court space to imbibe the nature of its surroundings and provide a breakout space for its users during circulation. The lower level reimagines the essence of a traditional street market faced with brick lattice cover, this space evolves in response to time and season throughout the year. The brick lattice facade acts as a Veil demarcating the building boundary yet providing a visual connection with the streets, cutting harsh light still illuminating the space to the fullest.
The project primarily caters to Re-Source: An experiment in reusing materials from the existing building. The salvaged material has been reused in the new proposal to reduce the carbon emission required to construct the same. The salvaged concrete blocks and bricks are repurposed as screens and partitions. The existing concrete panels are repurposed as inclined roof-sections to let natural sunlight into the building. By analysis, the total carbon emission is estimated to be at 2.12 million tons for the new construction, but by using the salvaged materials from the existing building, the emission is reduced down by 1.84 million tons which is equivalent to 357000 cars off the road for one year or 1800 million pounds of coal burned.
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